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Sarasota Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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Cycling is popular in the Sunshine State because of its mild climate and flat terrain. People ride for enjoyment, to commute to work, to save money on transportation costs, or for health reasons. However, if you ride a bicycle in Sarasota, you are likely aware of the potential danger from potholes, negligent drivers, and a lack of bike lanes. Florida had 5,952 bicycle collisions in 2021, which caused 5,574 injuries and 169 deaths.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party, you have a right to recover compensation for your damages and losses, and our team at Kogan & DiSalvo is here to help. We are passionate advocates for injured bicyclists in Florida. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled bicycle accident injury lawyer in Sarasota who can assess your case and answer your questions.

The Dangers Sarasota Bicyclists Face

Cyclist woman with sportswear and sunglasses adjusting her bicycle helmet

Sarasota features several bike-friendly environments, from Fort De Soto Recreational Park to the BoldlyGo Loop, drawing cyclists from Southwest Florida and beyond. However, they face a different environment when not on the dedicated trails. Despite initiatives to make bicycle traffic safer in Sarasota, such as two designated bike lanes downtown, cyclists still face hazards, e.g., parked cars in those dedicated lanes.

Sometimes, an accident is caused by inclement weather or a flat tire. In other cases, however, they are the direct result of negligence by motorists who may not yield to cyclists or are distracted and don’t see them. Injured cyclists have the right to pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Determining Liability in Bicycle Accident Cases

Man rides a bike outdoors in the park on a sunny day at sunset

To prevail in a personal injury claim, you must prove that a motorist or other party was negligent and that this negligence resulted in your injury and subsequent losses. In handling your claim, a knowledgeable Sarasota personal injury attorney will carefully analyze all available evidence to identify the liable party.

Types of negligence that often lead to bicycle accidents on Sarasota roads include:

  • Failing to yield the right of way to a bicycle
  • Tailgating a bicycle
  • Driving in a bicycle-designated lane
  • Opening a car door in the path of an oncoming bicycle (dooring)
  • Misinterpreting or failing to acknowledge hand signals

In a personal injury claim, evidence, such as surveillance videos, dashcam footage, and eyewitness testimony can help prove negligence. An experienced bicycle accident attorney in Sarasota may also use medical records, the official accident report from law enforcement, testimony by expert witnesses like accident reconstructionists, photos from the crash scene, as well as vehicle damage and debris.

Damages and Losses in a Bicycle Accident Claim

Helmet next to bike on crosswalk after a bike accident

Another essential element of a bicycle accident claim is demonstrating that you have suffered damages and losses as a direct result of the at-fault party’s negligence.

For example, if you sustained soft tissue injuries or a fractured ankle, you may require ongoing rehabilitation and physical therapy and be unable to work. Your bicycle may have been totaled, leaving you with the burden of replacing it or finding other means of transportation. In some cases, the injuries are severe enough that you may have to contend with a diminished quality of life.

Your lawyer will thoroughly account for how a bicycle accident has changed your life so they can pursue a damages award that adequately addresses these losses.

Potential Serious Injuries in a Sarasota Bicycle Accident

A doctor reviewing an xray of a patient's chest and spinal cord

Bicyclists have little protection in a collision with a motor vehicle. The serious injuries they can sustain include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Skull fractures and brain hemorrhaging are some of the most common serious injuries sustained by bicyclists, which can profoundly affect their lives.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal column can have a wide range of effects, including loss of sensation, paralysis, and impaired bowel and bladder function.
  • Fractures: Bicycle accidents often result in broken bones, including fractured hips, pelvises, arms, legs, clavicles, and facial bones.
  • Abrasions: When a motor vehicle strikes a bicycle, the cyclist is often thrown from their bike and sustains serious and painful abrasions, also known as road rash, while sliding across the pavement.
  • Soft-tissue injuries: From whiplash to ACL and rotator cuff tears, injuries to soft tissues like tendons and ligaments can prove painful and debilitating and may require physical therapy and other ongoing medical treatment.

Medical documentation is a critical element of a bicycle accident injury claim. A skilled attorney will use X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, doctor’s notes, and other evidence to establish the harm you have suffered.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Florida consistently ranks among the states with the highest amount of bicycle-related fatalities. Florida law allows for the recovery of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, which could include medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and mental pain and suffering. Our law firm is committed to holding negligent motorists accountable for their actions so their loved ones can find justice and a sense of closure.

How a Lawyer Can Help You

Silhouette of cyclist riding at sunset with trees in the background

An experienced Sarasota bicycle accident attorney can ensure your rights are protected. For example, it’s essential to confer with them before making any statements to an insurance company. An insurance adjuster may contact you and try to compel you to accept a settlement offer, but the amount is often far less than your claim is worth. Don’t sign anything before first talking with your attorney. We can provide guidance on the actual value of your claim based on the extent of your injuries.

In addition, the sooner you talk with a lawyer after your accident, the better. The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Florida is generally two years. Delays could prove costly and even result in you losing your legal standing to file a claim for compensation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Kogan & DiSalvo

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Most bicycle accidents in Florida result from careless driving because motorists often fail to notice them until after a collision. At Kogan & DiSavlo, we work hard to protect the rights of injured cyclists. We take the time to understand the unique details of your case and build a legal strategy that addresses your current and future needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries.

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